The Piedmont View

Fall 2017 Piedmont View

The 2017 fall edition of the Piedmont View features an update on our trout stream restoration projects, the renewed push for a potomac bridge crossing, water supply planning, urban greenways connecting Charlottesville and Albemarle, native landscaping and more. You can read individual articles online or view a PDF for the entire issue.

PEC has taken on the work of restoring local rivers by removing culverts and low-water crossings that can be roadblocks to stream health. By replacing these barriers on roads and driveways with fish- friendly designs, we are improving habitat and water quality.

Many aquatic species, including Virginia’s state fish, the Eastern brook trout, benefit from these restoration projects. Ideally, we hope these projects will influence government agencies to incorporate fish-friendly designs as they update roads and stream crossings.

Bike and pedestrian connectivity is a great way to enhance quality of life and create healthy, thriving urban communities. This is why PEC is teaming up with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission to build support for a comprehensive greenway system in the Charlottesville and Albemarle urban area.

“These locations have an opportunity to create a world-class bike and pedestrian system that connects neighborhoods, retail areas and places of work with iconic resources such as Monticello, the Downtown Mall, UVA Grounds, the Rivanna River and Biscuit Run State Park,” says Rex Linville, our Albemarle County field representative.

The benefits of solar power are multi- fold: it provides peak power close to the demand, energy security, cost savings, local employment opportunities and emission reductions. These benefits are why, for the last three years, we’ve partnered on a Solarize Piedmont campaign with friends at the Local Energy Alliance Program and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

Now that the 2017 Solarize Piedmont campaign has come to a close (it ran from mid-March through April), we wanted to share the results from these past three years: -- Signed Contracts: 41-- Dollar Value of Systems: $1,260,005 -- Installed Capacity: 395 kW -- Locations: Albemarle, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Orange & Rappahannock...

You don’t have to be a genuine bee keeper to help our native bees. You can create a place for them to thrive right in your backyard garden. First, assess your location. Is your project area in full sun, partial sun or is it fully shaded? Soil drainage also matters, whether it’s average, dry or wet soil. Once you know this, pick the plants that would thrive in that specific environment.

Choosing native plants is best for native bees, as they have adapted to each other over time. You can visit the Virginia Plant Atlas at vaplantatlas.org to see a selection of native species or review PEC’s “Go Native Go Local” guide at pecva.org/gonative to find retailers selling natives.

Our region is close to long-term averages for annual precipitation this year. Given the plentiful rainfall, stories about a shortage of drinking water seem odd. However, those stories are everywhere you look. For instance, in Fauquier County, water shortages from a combination of reduced ow and contamination in existing wells spurred negotiations for new wells in Marshall. Also, concerns about the availability of water were central to the debate over future development in Warrenton. Greene County is considering constructing, at considerable expense, a new storage reservoir for withdrawals from the Rapidan River. In addition, Loudoun Water is purchasing quarry sites along Goose Creek for future storage....

Updates from the around the PEC region, organized by county. Albemarle: Route 29 Transportation Improvements & Land Use Planning Update. Clarke: Quarry Site & Sporting Clays for Conservation. Culpeper: The Future of Solar Farms. Fauquier: Water in Marshall & Buckland Bypass. Greene: Making Main Street More Walkable. Loudoun: Transportation Planning & Comprehensive Plan Updates. Madison: Civil War Battlefield Research. Orange: Gordonsville Park Initiative. Rappahannock: Sprucepine Branch Restored!

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